County battles heroin trafficking
The Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office spent nearly a year investigating Joshua Parker, 34, who is now in custody and facing felony heroin charges.
Investigators say Parker made more than 500 heroin deals between April and October 2014, and sold heroin to local users up to six to seven times a day.
“We have several more arrests that we will be making in relation to this investigation,” according to Sheriff Brad Hardel.
Parker first came to law enforcement’s attention in March 2014 after informants told investigators of his local involvement in heroin transactions.
In June, after Joshua Armon overdosed on heroin he allegedly purchased from Parker, investigators began focusing their efforts on Parker’s activities and associates.
Waupaca County deputies, Waupaca police and agents with the state Division of Criminal Investigation and the Central Wisconsin Drug Task Force participated in an ongoing, undercover investigation that would lead to charges being filed against Parker.
On Sept. 17, 2014, an undercover agent and a police informant bought 2.1 grams of heroin from Parker, according to authorities.
On Oct. 20, 2014, an undercover agent again arranged to make a heroin purchase from Parker. He was given $225 for the heroin, but went into a local tavern instead. Parker was arrested at the bar and brought in for questioning.
On Nov. 21, 2014, law enforcement was executing a drug-related search warrant in the city of Waupaca when Parker arrived at the residence. Police found illegally obtained prescription drugs on Parker and took him into custody for questioning.
A warrant was issued for Parker’s arrest on May 13, and he turned himself in on May 20.
He is currently in custody on a $25,000 cash bail.
Hardel noted that the Waupaca County Board approved two new full-time drug enforcement positions for his department in the 2015 budget.
“We’re just getting into this with our two new officers,” Hardel said about the county’s efforts to control the heroin problem. “As we go along, we’re finding bigger fish.”